Tash Farrant and Sophie Ecclestone
Oval Invincibles meet Manchester Originals in the opening game of The Hundred on Wednesday
Venues: Eight grounds across the UK Dates: 21 July-21 August
Coverage: 10 men’s games live on BBC TV, eight women’s games live on BBC platforms and live text, radio commentary and in-play clips of every game. More details.

England’s World Cup winners lining up against each other, two great cricket minds linking up for the first time and gender equality – The Hundred, which gets under way this week, promises a lot.

As we count down to the competition’s opening game, which is live on BBC Two on Wednesday at 18:00 BST, BBC Sport has asked six of its pundits for the things which excite them about cricket’s newest format.

James Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker

What I’m looking forward to seeing is the England players – the best players in the world in white-ball cricket at the moment – competing against each other.

You are going to have some really good mates who will create rivalries. I have played a lot of red-ball cricket against my team-mates and it is about trying to get one over on them, so it gets brought up in the dressing room.

The players will have been talking about it during their recent series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. They’ll have picked the dates out when they’ll be playing against each other. Those match-ups are going to be interesting to watch.

I hope to see Jofra Archer bowling against any of England’s opening batters. When you get batters that are that explosive playing against somebody of that pace and ability, it makes for great viewing.

Isa Guha, former England seamer

Seeing men and women sitting side by side under the same banner is fantastic. It is essentially one big family.

I am excited about the buzz around the ground and the broadcast element – how we can bring the different personalities out from the domestic players who may not have had the chance to shine elsewhere?

Shane Warne and Eoin Morgan
Warne played 339 times for Australia and is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time while Morgan guided England to World Cup-victory in 2019

Then there’s that partnership between Eoin Morgan, London Spirit’s captain, and Shane Warne, their coach.

You have England’s World Cup-winning captain in Morgan and Australia legend Warne, who I think has one of the best cricket brains in the world.

Warney is a cricket badger. He loves his cricket and loves working out how to get an edge over the opposition through tactics.

Michael Vaughan, former England captain

The overseas stars bring a lot to tournaments but when you have your local England players playing against each other, you don’t see that too often.

The Indian Premier League has been a success because of the flamboyance that it brings but because Virat Kohli is playing against MS Dhoni, it is a great sell.

In this tournament you have Ben Stokes playing against Joe Root, Mark Wood bowling to Jason Roy.

The England white-ball teams – men’s and women’s – have some exceptional talent.

How will the England batters face Adil Rashid and Sophie Ecclestone – two incredible spinners in the white-ball game?

Danni Wyatt and Sophie Ecclestone
England batter Danni Wyatt will play for Southern Brave and will face Sophie Ecclestone, the number one bowler in the women’s T20 rankings who was signed by Manchester Originals

Alex Hartley, England World Cup winner and Manchester Originals bowler

I get the best of both worlds to be playing in The Hundred and commentating on it.

To be a trailblazer, playing in the first game on Wednesday, I can’t wait. It is new and no-one knows what to expect.

It’s going to be a privilege to play in that first game.

There is a buzz around our team WhatsApp groups – all the players are excited. Our overseas players, Lizelle Lee and Mignon du Preez, have been quarantining in Croatia and are so excited to come over.

They’ve been printing T-shirts for everyone! It’s something new and something to look forward to.

Tymal Mills, England and Southern Brave fast bowler

I am looking forward to testing myself against some of the best players in the world on home soil – hopefully in front of some really good crowds.

I think it will unearth some new stars and you’ll see a lot of guys make a name for themselves.

Also, I was lucky to work under Mahela Jayawardene when he was an overseas player at Sussex and now I am looking forward to working with him as Southern Brave coach.

Of course I am backing ourselves to win. We have a strong, fast bowling attack which I am looking forward to being a part of, and are stacked all the way through.

Phil Tufnell, former England spinner

I am looking forward to seeing how the players adapt to the new format – in particular, seeing how the tactics play out with bowlers able to bowl five balls or 10 balls in a row.

The first couple of games will be a feeling out process, but there are some big-name coaches and captains.

It won’t take them long to find their own style which suits their side.

Everyone says Twenty20 is all about batting but history tells me the sides with the best bowling unit will win.

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